Pirates Designate Josh Rodriguez For Assignment

SATURDAY: Pirates GM Neal Huntington told Colin Dunlap of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette there "is a process that we have to go through," when asked about Rodriguez's future. "The first is the ability to see if there's a trade partner out there. The second is he'd have to clear waivers. We will work through those two processes first and go from there."

FRIDAY: The Pirates designated infielder Josh Rodriguez for assignment and recalled Pedro Ciriaco from Triple-A, according to the team.  Ciriaco appears to be a placeholder for new Pirate Brandon Wood, who was claimed today from the Angels.

Rodriguez, 26, was claimed by the Pirates from the Indians as the first pick in the December Rule 5 draft.  If he's not traded or claimed in the next ten days, the Pirates have to offer him back to the Indians for $25K or work out a trade to keep him.  If another team picks up Rodriguez, they'll still be subject to the Rule 5 restriction of keeping him in the Majors all year.

Rodriguez received only 14 big league plate appearances this year.  Last year at Triple-A he hit .293/.372/.486 in 364 plate appearances, spending most of his time at shortstop.  Baseball America ranked him 24th among Pirates prospects, noting that "his upside appears to be as a utility player."